As major environment factors, drought or high salinity affect crop growth, development and yield. Transgenic approach is an effective way to improve abiotic stress tolerance of crops.

In this study, we comparatively analyzed gene structures, genome location, and the evolution of syntaxin proteins containing late embryogenesis abundant (LEA2) domain. GmSYP24 was identified as a dehydration-responsive gene. Our study showed that the GmSYP24 protein was located on the cell membrane. The overexpression of GmSYP24 (GmSYP24ox) in soybean and heteroexpression of GmSYP24 (GmSYP24hx) in Arabidopsis exhibited insensitivity to osmotic/drought and high salinity. However, wild type soybean, Arabidopsis, and the mutant of GmSYP24 homologous gene of Arabidopsis were sensitive to the stresses. Under the abiotic stresses, transgenic soybean plants had greater water content and higher activities of POD, SOD compared with non-transgenic controls. And the leaf stomatal density and opening were reduced in transgenic Arabidopsis. The sensitivity to ABA was decreased during seed germination of GmSYP24ox and GmSYP24hx. GmSYP24hx induced up-regulation of ABA-responsive genes. GmSYP24ox alters the expression of some aquaporins under osmotic/drought, salt, or ABA treatment. These results demonstrated that GmSYP24 played an important role in osmotic/drought or salt tolerance in ABA signal pathway.





Figure 2: Chromosomal location and region duplication of soybean LEA2 genes. The black triangle Icon were marked as tandem duplication of syntaxin proteins on chromosome 3 and 7. The scale on the left represents the length of the chromosome.